Purges of the 1930s

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Causes of the Purges

1. Opposition: By 1932 there were a group of moderates in the Politburo associated with Sergei Kirov, whose growing authority was a threat to Stalin. In 1932 Kirov defended Ryutin, who had circulated a document that criticised Stalin's policies. He also formed an opposition group and argued for more realistic targets in the Second Five-Year Plan.

2. Economic Problems: Senior figures within the government were aware of problems within Stalin's industrial and agricultural policies which undermined Stalin's authority. By

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